Confucius say, “Study the past if you would define the future.” No, really. Confucius actually said that. And, when it comes to finding the next great team member, more and more hiring manager approve of a Confucian-way-of-life in the form of Behavioral Job Interviewing.
Behavioral Interviewing is the attempt to understand a candidate’s past experiences in an effort to predict how they will respond to similar scenarios in the future.
For example, in a behavioral interview you might be asked to describe a situation when you successfully used persuasion to help a colleague support your plan of action. First off, be careful if you are the person in the hot seat. The old “turn a negative into a positive” tactic won’t help you receive nods of approval on this one. In a Behavioral Interview, the interviewer is looking for a clear, concise, anecdote wherein you applied the powers of persuasion correctly and effectively.
Why is this method of interviewing catching on so quickly?
Behavioral interviewing is said to be 55% more predicative of future on the job behavior, while traditional interviewing is only about 10% predicative (LiveCareer).
In the past decade, the candidate pool has become increasingly competitive when it comes to education qualifications. The fact that an applicant has a bachelors degree does not carry the same weight, as an indicator of future success, as it used to. If you are going to find the next critical thinking, self-starter, willing learner, confident, professional, team player – you are going to need to try and get to know them in a more meaningful way. The best thing to do is review a candidate’s resume with the goal of envisioning scenarios they may have encountered on their road to the accomplishments they listed.
Here are some sample Behavioral Interview Questions to help you get started:
- Describe a situation when you successfully used persuasion to convince a colleague to go along with your idea or see things your way.
- Describe an instance when you demonstrated your coping skills during a stressful situation.
- Provide an example of a situation that required you to make a split-second decision.
- Describe a time when you motivated others and how you did it.
- Give me an example of a time when you were required to make an unpopular decision and how you communicated it to the rest of the team.
- Tell me about a time when you missed an obvious solution to a problem and what you learned from it.
More is accomplished from a behavioral job interview than just identifying a candidate’s past responses to on-the-job situations. The responses themselves will also give you insight into the candidate’s overall skills, abilities, and personality.
Before you get started, here are a few tips to help you successfully conduct an effective behavioral interview:
Identify exactly what you are hiring the applicant to do.
If there are any performance requirements associated with the position, go ahead and write those out next.
Now that you know what you need, you should have a good idea of the type of characteristics and traits you think this person should have. Make a list.
It’s time to create your job posting. Write a post, using the information you just identified, that includes those behavioral characteristics, tasks, and performance requirements.
As the resumes flood your inbox, review them with behavioral character at the forefront of your mind.
Compile a list of questions that include both traditional and behavioral interview questions that you can ask the candidate’s you’ve selected.
Pick a card, pick a card. Select the candidate with the right mix of knowledge, character, and personality that best suites your team.